Be A Responsible Worker: Don’t Contract Illness That You Can’t Afford

Aug 2, 2019 by

Teachers suffering, for example,  from cancer whose survival depends on treatment extending beyond the ten days ‘sick leave” annually allowed them in California, may apply for 100 days days of additional time off and keep their jobs.

Isn’t that generous of a state known for bold cutting-edge social policy?

Ah, but there’s a catch.

Teachers must pay for the cost of their replacement.  On the salary scale for a person of average seniority, that amounts to half their compensation. It’s not enough to take a hit from Fate, they must also take one from Sacramento.

Choosing bankruptcy over death is worthwhile, although California state law doesn’t make it cost-effective.

Unlike other state employees, California teachers don’t contribute to the state’s underfunded disability insurance program, so from a legal standpoint, it’s logical that they’re ineligible for the tender mercy of its benefits. But what makes no sense is that the teacher must pay for a substitute even when none is hired! 

That is confiscatory. It is punishment.How did that happen and why hasn’t it been corrected?California, like New York, is a bellwether for enlightened, forward-thinking ideas that are codified in education law, supposedly. 

Although New York is imperfect, we have a much more compassion-based and rational menu of pro-teacher options.

For that we should thank the viable partnership between government and our unions.

Ron Isaac

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